UEFA Champions League Explained: How the Tournament Works
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The UEFA Champions League is one of the most prestigious soccer tournaments in all sport. It consists of 32 teams that compete in five rounds for the title of the best club in European soccer.
The first UEFA Champions League tournament was held during the 1955/56 season. Since then, it has been played annually.
The number of teams each association enters into the UEFA Champions League is based on UEFA coefficients of the member associations.
... the teams are split into four different "pots" based on the following principles.
A draw takes place for the round of 16. The remaining clubs are split into two pots of eight: One contains the winners of each respective group, the other the runners-up. A club is drawn from each pot to determine what the matchups would be.
Knockout-Phase Legs and Tiebreakers
Two teams are drawn together for each round. The teams play two matches, each squad playing one match at home. The group winners host the second leg in the round of 16.
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